Associate EU citizenship would keep United Kingdom together

Torn apart? Obituaries for the United Kingdom are already being written. Illustration: Chris Barker/

Torn apart? Obituaries for the United Kingdom are already being written. Illustration: Chris Barker/The New European. - Credit: Archant

Readers suggest their ideas for how to keep the United Kingdom together after Brexit hits.

Would allowing Britons to keep EU citizenship (Letters, TNE #182-183) help prevent the break-up of the United Kingdom by reducing support among Scottish voters for independence by preserving their freedom to travel, live and work within the EU?

Many UK nationals of Scottish descent would no doubt, in the absence of 'associate citizenship', welcome an independent Scotland if it enabled them to obtain a Scottish passport and, with it, EU citizenship on rejoining.

After all, there's been a continuing rise in annual 'first-time' applications from UK nationals for Irish passports since the Brexit referendum - up from 46,229 in 2015 to nearly 100,000 in 2019.

Roger Hinds, Surrey


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As soon as I saw the "Torn Apart" image of a ripped-up UK on the cover of TNE #183 I thought "federalism". This is possibly the only way to prevent the break-up of the United Kingdom and at the same time stop the SNP.

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An English parliament goes without saying. An elected upper House of representatives from the three other countries would be essential to strengthen and heal the situation we are now in.

This could sit in York, being perhaps Boris Johnson's only good idea,

Margot Kerr, Inverness

Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald's demand that the EU "take a stand in respect of Ireland in the same way that it supported the reunification of Germany" is unlikely to "frustrate Ireland's EU partners" as Mary C Murphy suggests. This is because the European Council has already agreed to give Ireland such support.

In its response to Theresa May's invoking of Article 50 in 2017, the European Council explicitly recognised that in the event of Irish unity through the Good Friday Agreement, Northern

Ireland would be automatically included in the EU as East Germany was at the time of German reunification when Ireland held the presidency of the EU council.

So voters in Northern Ireland know that if they vote for a reunited Ireland in a future referendum they will have an automatic guaranteed re-entry into the EU.

"No ifs, no buts" as the present tenant of 10 Downing Street might put it.

Ed Kelly, t Helens

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